Hermann Renkazischock

Born: Munich, Germany, 15 July 1907

Profession in country of origin: Furrier

Arrived in Britain as a refugee from Germany in 1939

Documents

Male enemy alien - Exemption from internment - Refugee   
                                         
Surname: Renkazischock
Forename: Hermann
Alias: - 
Date and place of birth: 15/07/1907 in Munich 
Nationality: Stateless 
Police Regn. Cert. No.: 711 807 
Home Office ref: C 873     
Address: Kitchener camp, Richborough, Sandwich, Kent 
Normal occupation: Furrier
Present occupation: -
Name and address of employer: - 
Decision of tribunal: Exempted "C" & 9a
Date 13.10.1939 
Whether exempted from Article 6(A): Yes 
Whether desires to be repatriated: No 

[Hand-written addition] Emb. 22.05.1940

Source: National Arrives, Home Office: Aliens Department: Internees Index, 1939-1947.

B. Non-transmigrants
Name of ship: Samaria
Steamship Line: Cunard White Star Limited
Names and descriptions of ALIEN passengers embarked at the port of Liverpool
Date of Departure: 22nd May 1940
Where bound: New York

Contract ticket number: 44749
Port at which passengers have contracted to land: New York
Names of passengers: Renkazischok, Hermann 
Class: 3rd
Ages of passengers - Adults of 12 years and upwards - Accompanied by husband or wife - Males 32 / Females -
Children between 1 and 12: -
Infants: -
Last address in the United Kingdom: Kitchener Camp, Richborough
Profession, Occupation, or Calling of passengers: Furrier
Country of last permanent residence: England & Foreign Countries
Country of Intended Future Residence: USA
Country of which Citizen or Subject: Stateless

Source: National Archives: Passenger Lists leaving UK 1890-1960.

Editor’s note: We are not allowed to reproduce National Archives (UK) images, but we are permitted to reproduce the material from them, as shown above.

  • Kitchener camp, Hermann Renkazischock, 28 February 1939, Permit to Leave Camp, 29 December 1939, For good, Home Office number 711807
  • Kitchener camp, Hermann Renkazischock, Post Office Telegram envelope, Hut 29

-Documents kindly submitted by Esther Ellen Weiner for her father Hermann Renkazischock

Letters

Editor’s note: All translations kindly provided by the family, following each image. They would welcome any further suggestions to these from German speakers.

Kitchener camp, Hermann Renkazischock, Telegramm, 28 June 1939

28 June 1939 

From Herman in Sandwich, Kent, to Lina in Munich

My Linerel [the diminutive he often used for her]! Hold your head up. I will be in London tomorrow Do what you can [must?]
Kitchener camp, Hermann Renkazischock, Telegramm, 30 June 1939

30 June 1939 

From Herman in London to Lina in Munich

Childcare found Send Bernhard [Herman’s brother] 4 photos, doctor certificate and birth certificate per child. - Hermann
Kitchener camp, Hermann Renkazischock, Telegramm, 12 July 1939

12 July 1939 

London, to Lina in Munich

Permit already filed. Decision due soon faellic domelpis 

[Editor’s note: Family are struggling for a translation of the last two words and would welcome any input. The first might be a transliteration from the spoken sound of ‘Fällig‘ / ‘due’?]

Kitchener camp, Hermann Renkazischock, Telegramm, Summer 1939

28 (?) July 1939 

Hermann in London to Lina in Munich 

Today confirmed by Bloomsbury telegraphic confirmation

-Letters submitted by Esther Ellen Weiner for her father Hermann Renkazischock

Memories

Hermann Renkazischock: His story

My father Hermann Renkazischock (later shortened to Renka and dropped the extra ‘n’ in Hermann) was born in 1907 in Munich, Germany the fourth of six children to Russian parents who emmigrated to Germany to escape the almost certain conscription into the army of my grandfather and to seek a better life for the family. Three of their children, a daughter and two sons were born in Russia. My father was the first child to be born in Germany followed by another daughter and one more son.

Music, sports and zionism were my father’s passions. He played the violin having gravitated to this instrument at an early age. He later became the first violinist in an orchestra in Munich and later still played in Kitchener. To this day I have his violin. Not only was classical music an important part of his life, but he was equally immersed in the operatic repertoire. A love of which he passed on to me.

My father was very active in the Zionist sport club, Bar Kochba where he competed as a sprinter. Track and field were his great interests in sports.

Professionally, he aspired to become a doctor. However, his parents who had a fur shop in Munich needed his help with the business. As a dutiful son he put his dream aside and became a furrier instead.

My parents married in 1934 and I remember being told that guests arrived for the wedding which was held in my grandparents home, in discrete groupings of twos so as not to arouse suspicions of a conspiracy gathering.

I was born in 1937 and my sister eighteen months later in 1938. We were babies when in November 1938 the Nazis entered our apartment looking for my father. They did not find him there or anywhere else. He managed to evade the Nazi dragnet by staying in different homes each night until my mother signalled to him via a pre-arranged method that it was safe to return.

Clearly he needed to get out of Germany as soon as possible. But how? He was stateless. That mystery was recently solved when we found out that he was issued a Nansen passport that paved the way for his exodus from Germany in March 1939 and refuge in the Kitchener Camp. He was 32 years old and left behind his wife and two very young children with no assurance that he would see them again.

My mother, Lina, was a very strong and fearless woman who, on more than one occasion, stood down the Nazis,even when threatened by them to be sent to Dachau, managed to get us as well as her father out of Germany. We arrived in London in August 1939 just in the nick of time. By May of 1940 we finally got our visas for the States, leaving from Liverpool on May 22nd on the ship Samaria.

By Esther Ellen Weiner, his daughter

A Tribute To My Father, Herman Renka (Renkazischok)

Kitchener Camp – March 1939 to December 1939

There are many memories of my father, as anyone would have of their parent, but what stands out now, as I reflect on the past years, is the love and passion he had for music and for Judaism. They were a big part of his life. In Europe he played the violin in an orchestra, and despite the fact that he didn’t continue playing publicly when we came to this country, music was always in our home. He passed that on to me. To this day, when I hear a beautiful Beethoven, Mozart, or Tchaikovsky piece, I think of my father and it brings tears to my eyes. The tears are twofold – one for the beauty of the music – and one for thinking how much he would have enjoyed it.

Judaism was always a part of his being. He was proud to be a Jew, and was a staunch Zionist and ZOA member (Zionist Organization of America). In his writings, my father fought for the State of Israel and for peace.

Being separated from his wife and two young daughters during his time at Kitchener Camp was difficult for my father. However, Kitchener was a safe haven from the horrors of an impending war, and I am grateful that he was there at that time, as I am sure he was as well.

During 1939 and 1940 my family, thankfully, was always one step ahead of being trapped by the coming war. Enduring the horrors of Kristallnacht while still in Germany, my father was able to leave for England in March of 1939 and the rest of the family was able to arrive in England one month before Germany invaded Poland, which was the start of World War II. Our good fortune continued when we were able to leave England for America on May 22, 1940, just prior to the start of the Blitz – the German bombing of England.

My father’s qualities and traits are of an intelligent, soft spoken, kind man, and my love for him will live in my heart forever.

Ruth Silverman

Photographs

  • Kitchener camp, Hermann Renkazischock
  • Kitchener camp, Hermann Renkazischock, with Lina

-Photographs submitted by Ruth Silverman for her father Herman Renkazischock

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